Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Leonardo Suarez Paz and Fernando Suarez Paz: Escualo

Duncan Heining By

Sign in to view read count
Leonardo Suarez Paz is surely now the torchbearer of Argentine Tango and the legacy of its greatest composer, Astor Piazzolla. His father Fernando Suarez Paz, of course, played with Piazzolla for many years and father and son have often performed his and works by other composers of tango. It is our fortune that Suarez Paz hijo has persuaded Suarez Paz padre out of retirement, if only one more time.

Both father and son respect tango as a living tradition—not as a museum piece frozen in time or as colour for some post-modern bricolage. In Leonardo's hands, it merges deftly with jazz. Piazzolla's "Calambre" is an excellent example of this—at times, it is as if Stuff Smith (the father) duets with Jean-Luc Ponty (the son)—one can hear instantly why Fernando was the master's first choice for so many years. In his solo, Suarez Paz Jr., uses the electric violin given to him by his father and Piazzolla to marvellous effect, a nod to the present and a cap doffed respectfully to the past. Daniel pipi Piazzolla, the great man's grandson, brings jazz drumming to the feast and it works joyously.

Piazzolla's "Escualo" also explores jazz in its improvisations from Suarez Paz Jr. and again from 'Pipi' Piazzolla but more as a set of possibilities to be explored without departing too far from the original. "La Luz de Un Fosforo" ("The Light of a Match"—a title, itself, resonate with imagery—a signal between two forbidden lovers, perhaps?) might well be my favourite track here. Essentially a trio with pianist Cristian Zarate, who arranged the tune and "Escualo" and "Calambre," this is an older composition from Alberto Suarez Villanueva. Writing this on a cold, wet November afternoon in England, the piece with its flowing rhythms and swooping glissandi is a transport of delight to somewhere warmer and more hospitable.

Escualo consists of four group performances and four duets between father and son. If the listener is more familiar with the idea of tango as primarily a dance of controlled passion and unconcealed desire, then these duets will surprise. There is a range of emotions to be traversed here, often within a single composition. "La Casita De Mis Viejos" ("My Parent's Home") begins with sharp, angular, mournful notes before opening out into something at times full of gentle fun and at others of mock rebuke. On the other hand, the jaunty air of "Pablo" has an almost self-satirising feel to it, that makes it impossible not to smile.

The other two duets, Piazzolla's stunningly gorgeous "Oblivion" and "Los Mareados" ("Tipsy") are more personal to both father and son, the former because of their connection to its composer, the latter because it was so many years in Fernando's repertoire. At nearly 7 minutes long, it is a magnificent performance filled with all the virtues of tango—"Masters of Tango Violin," indeed.

They close fittingly with Carlos Gardel's "Por Una Cabeza," one of the most internationally famous of all tangos. The performance here has the immediacy of improvisation. It is like an afterthought, casual and born of the fondness of friends and familial love, but a perfect ending to a lovely and deeply affecting record.

Track Listing: Escualo; La Luz de Un Fosforo; Pablo; La Castia De Mis Viejos; Calambre; Oblivion; Los Mareados; Por Una Cabeza.

Personnel: Fernando Suarez Paz violin; Leonardo Suarez Paz violin and electric violin; Cristian Zarate piano; Daniel ‘Pipi’ Piazzolla; Lautaro Greco bandoneon; Daniel Falasca, Roberto Tormo bass.

Title: Escualo | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Azica Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "8th Window" CD/LP/Track Review 8th Window
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Alaya" CD/LP/Track Review Alaya
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "Salão Brazil" CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by John Sharpe
Published: December 6, 2017